Personality Predictors of Team Taskwork Understanding and Transactive Memory Systems in Service Management Teams

Priyanko Guchait
Katherine Hamilton
Nan Hua, University of Central Florida


Purpose– The aim of this paper is to examine how personality composition in teams related to team taskwork understanding (TTU) and transactive memory systems (TMS) over time. Additionally, the study examined the relationship between TTU and TMS, and three team criteria variables: performance, satisfaction, and cohesion.

Design/methodology/approach– A longitudinal study was conducted with 27 service management teams involving 178 undergraduate students in a restaurant setting. The restaurant was open to the public so the team outcomes had real world consequences. Each team served between 90-140 customers.

Findings– Results showed that team mean-level conscientiousness was significantly positively related to TTU and TMS in the initial stage of team formation. On the other hand, team mean-level agreeableness had a significant positive relationship with TTU and TMS later on in the team's lifecycle. Furthermore, significant positive relationships were found between TMS and team performance, TMS and team satisfaction, and TTU and team cohesion.

Originality/value– The current work looked at how various team cognitions develop in teams over time as a result of personality composition in teams which has not been tested before. Unlike prior research, this study was conducted in a field setting instead of an experimental study in the laboratory. Finally, no research exists studying these relationships in a hospitality context. Therefore, the current work extends the generalizability of the team composition and team cognition theories.